Yayoi Kasuma

Yayoi Kusama’s work is powerful and mind bending. Since the age of 10, as a child growing up in Japan she has had hallucinations and visions that she has turned into vibrant works of art. Her dreams have informed paintings and sculptures.
Her life and work are full of stories and wild interpretations of her visions. Along the way, artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Donald Judd became her friends and supporters. At first look, one might think her life has been full of joy due to the playful colors and shapes, however her life has been full of internal and external struggles. As you learn more about her, the work starts to tell a story very different from that first impression of playfulness. She has an active, complicated mind that pours out creativity and translates memories and dreams into vivid experiential works art.

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I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, 2013

“One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body and the universe. I felt as if I had begun to self-obliterate, to revolve in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space, and be reduced to nothingness. As I realized it was actually happening and not just in my imagination, I was frightened. I knew I had to run away lest I should be deprived of my life by the spell of the red flowers. I ran desperately up the stairs. The steps below me began to fall apart and I fell down the stairs straining my ankle”.

Yayoi Kusama said about her 1954 painting titled Flower (D.S.P.S)

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late-night chat is filled with dreams, 2009

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an encounter with a flowering season, 2009

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I want to live honestly, like the eye in the picture, 2009

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all about my love, and I long to eat a dream of the night, 2009

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guidepost to the new space at pier 45, installed at hudson river park, new york, 2012

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Self-Obliteration No.2 1967

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Self-Obliteration 1967

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Self-Obliteration 1967

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YAYOI KUSAMA: New Sculptures and Recent Paintings, 2014

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Yayoi Kusama in Mirror Room (Pumpkin), 1991

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YAYOI KUSAMA: New Sculptures and Recent Paintings, 2014

“The artist has a strong personal identification with the pumpkin, and has described her images of them as a form of selfportraiture. She admires pumpkins for their hardiness and everyday quality, as well as for their unique and pleasing physical qualities. She has written:

“‘Pumpkin head’ was an epithet used to disparage ugly, ignorant men, and the phrase ‘Put eyes and a nose on a pumpkin’ evoked a pudgy and unattractive woman. It seems that pumpkins do not inspire much respect. But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual base” (Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, trans. Ralph McCarthy, London 2011, p.76).” >> Inhale Magazine

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Yayoi Kusama in her Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field, 1965

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Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life, 2011

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Polka Dots Madness #6

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Louis Vuitton, Fifth Avenue Visual Merchandising, 2012

Her obsession with polka dots has turned up in her paintings and sculptures and recently throughout a collection she has designed for Louis Vuitton.

“…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement … Polka dots are a way to infinity.”

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“Fashion brand Louis Vuitton has collaborated with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to create a collection of garments featuring Kusama’s obsessional polka dot patterns for a concept store at Selfridges department store in London” >> design boom

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